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Tag Archive: commuter bike

Kona Smoke 2-9 Review


Kona Smoke 2-9 out of the box

Has the venerable Kona Smoke improved by sporting 29″ tires? Let’s find out:


Riding the San Gabriel River Trail

About me:I’m 37 yrs old, 5’7″ 165 lbs. My commute is 21 miles round trip and it is mostly flat. I usually ride with panniers and about 15lbs worth of cargo.


Kona Smoke with accessories.

About the Bike:

Frame sizes: 14″, 16″, 18″, 20″, 22″. 16″ Tested
Frame tubing: Kona Cromoly Butted
Fork: Kona P2 29er Disc
Headset: TH
Crankarms: Suntour CW-XCC-T208
Chainrings: 48/38/28
B/B: CH-46
Pedals: Kona Jackshit
Chain: KMC Z-72
Freewheel: SHIMANO HG-30 (11-32, 8spd)
F/D: Shimano Altus
R/D: Shimano Altus
Shifters: SRAM MRX
Handlebar: Kona Riser
Stem: Kona Control
Grips: Kona Mooseknuckle
Front Brake: Tektro 855AC
Brake Levers: Tektro RS-384A
Front hub: Formula
Rear hub: Formula
Spokes: Stainless 14g
Tires: Continental City Contact 700 x 47c
Rims: Rigida Cyber 10
Saddle: Velo Comfort
Seatpost: Kona Thumb
Seat clamp: Kona Clamp
Color: Smoke Grey
MSRP: $369

Weight with rear rack, top tube bag, mirror and light: 34lbs

Highlights: Obviously, the price of this bike is a huge selling point. For the price of about 6 gasoline fill ups you get a bicycle that is very well-equipped and ready to take you to work right out of the box. The combination of the steel frame, 700X47c tires and the Velo Comfort saddle made this bicycle very comfortable and a pleasure to ride on a 21 mile commute.


Velo PLUSH saddle, plush indeed.

I’m a stickler when it comes to saddles, but just like the saddle from my old Kona (I still have it), it is very plush and what I would call ‘beginner commuter’ friendly.


Kona Jackshit pedals.

Most entry-level bikes feature cheap pedals. Not the Smoke 2-9; you will be riding on Kona Jackshit pedals that are very sturdy and those little studs really grip the soles of your shoes.


Sram Gripshift Max 8 speed shifters

SR Suntour Triple Crank/Altus front derailleur

Altus rear Derailleur

Since most of my commute was flat, I found myself riding the big ring most of the time with occasional downshifts . The Gripshift/Altus combination worked rather well; the shifting is not the smoothest or fastest, but it was definitely reliable. If your commute is rather hilly, I have no doubt that the gearing of this bike will conquer most of the ugliest hills.


Loaded Smoke

Lowlights:I don’t really have anything bad to say about the Smoke 2-9 — the only thing that annoyed me was the occasional noise and vibration that came from the fenders. If you buy this bike from a shop, make sure that your mechanic really tightens up the screws and adjusts the fenders so they won’t rub against the tires. I wished that a rear rack would come standard with the bike; there are a few other bikes that come with one as a standard feature.

Final thoughts: I still believe that the Kona Smoke 2-9 is an awesome commuter bike for the money. It is comfortable, reliable and well spec’d. Did the 29″ inch wheels improve the bike? Oh yeah, the bike is faster and the geometry was not radically affected. So if you are looking for a bike that will not break your bank or your back, the Kona Smoke 2-9 is it.

For more information, go to www.konaworld.com

KHS Urban Series spotted on the street

Yes I have a car and I do drive so relax…but on my way in this morning, I saw a bike commuter. But he wasn’t just a regular commuter. He was pretty special because he was on an Urban Series commuter bike by KHS Bicycles. From what I can tell, he was on the KHS Urban Xpress

Click here to view a larger photo.

The reason why I got so excited was because anytime I see a person on their bike, I always look at the brand and this time it happened to be our sponsor’s bike that was being ridden!

$350 Commuter Bike

Pricepoint.com has a sweet deal on a house brand commuter bike.


The Sette CR-9 Commuter Bike
would make a great machine for anyone that wants to start commuting…but is on a budget. Besides, it has 700c wheels, in my opinion, a better choice for a commuter than a 26″.(uh oh…I hear the 26″ riders coming to get me with their comments!)

Here’s the specs:

Sette CR-9
The Sette CR-9 is the perfect bike for those who are looking to travel the off beaten path as well as the concrete jungle. Efficiency is the key when it comes to the CR-9, large 700c wheels, allow this bike to roll over a variety of terrain perfect for a commuter or anyone looking for a bike for recreational use.

Frame: 7005 series aluminum
Crankset: Truvativ FC Five D 3.0
Wheelset: Sun Ringle CR-18 700C
Front Derailleur: Shimano Tourney FD CO50
Rear Derailleur: Shimano Alivio RD 410
Shifter: Shimano ST EF35
Tires: Kenda
Cassette: Shimano HG-30
Pedals: Wellgo LU-990

Quick Review:Trek Soho S


Product: Trek Soho S



MSRP:
$549.00


Specs:

Sizes 15, 17.5, 20, 22.5″
Frame Alpha Black Aluminum
Fork Cro-Moly w/lowrider mounts
Wheels
Wheels Alloy flip flop high flange hubs; alloy rims
Tires Bontrager Race Lite, puncture resistant, 700x28c; 60 tpi
Drivetrain
Shifters n/a
Front Derailleur n/a
Rear Derailleur n/a
Crank Bontrager Nebula 44T w/chainguard
Cassette Shimano 17T freewheel/16T cog
Pedals Nylon body w/alloy cage
Components
Saddle Bontrager Select City
Seat Post Bontrager Satellite Nebula
Handlebars Bontrager Crowbar Sport, 25mm rise
Stem Bontrager Soho, 15 degree
Headset Aheadset Slimstak w/semi-cartridge bearings, sealed
Brakeset Alloy dual pivot w/Tektro alloy levers
Extras Chainguard

Sweet chain guard to keep your slacks free of grease.

I really dig the matte/flat/gloss finish. Gives it character and makes it less of an attention whore for thieves.

First Impressions:

The Trek Soho S retails around $549…not bad for this kind of bike. It’s a single speed/fixie with the flip flop hubs. The setup of the Soho S reminds me of how I’ve set up my Redline 925. I’ve never been a fan of drop bars, and flat bar road bikes have always been my favorite because of the geometry and overall riding position that tends to be more comfortable. One of the comforting aspects of this bike is the Bontrager Race Lite tires that are puncture resistant. I HATE getting flats and having these type of tires not only peace of mind, but it will also prevent you from being late to the office because you didn’t have to hassle with a flat tire.

The sidepull Tektro brake and levers provided enough stopping power without any strain on my hands.

One of the other small details that I liked about the bike was the bar ends. Check out how they have a reflective sticker on it. I thought that was pretty cool. Oh and the bell is an added bonus!

The gearing ran at 44/17t on the freewheel and it was easy enough to start at a dead stop and get on cruising speeds within a few seconds. I rode with the fixed gear for a bit, but when I did try it, the lock ring slipped. I quickly fixed that but rather than riding it as a fixed, I opted for the freewheel since my knee has had problems from stopping fixed gear bikes.


Summary:

I actually liked the Trek Soho S. I rode a 17.5, which made it just right for my height, 5’7″ on a good day. The bike felt comfortable, I didn’t feel that I was leaning over too much or had that aggressive race geometry. But don’t get me wrong, the Trek Soho S can dish out some good speed. Just a few pumps of the pedals, then this baby is hauling.

trek soho s

There was one thing I didn’t particularly care for about this bike, its the pedals. They had these weird open cage design that felt like my foot was falling off. I think a good pair of platform pedals or even clipless pedals(even better) would have solved this issue. Other than that, the bike is fun to ride, it would make a great commuter and is relatively priced low.

Beautifully designed, affordably priced canvas and leather bicycle bags.

Kona Smoke 2-9

BikeCommuters.com recently took delivery of the 2008 Kona Smoke 2-9. Moe’s first commuter bike was the Kona Smoke (26), and he loved it! So while we were walking around Interbike 2007, Moe was actually pretty shocked that they came out with a 29er version of his favorite commuter.

kona smoke 29

So after working things out with the wonderful folks of Kona, we have one to test and report to our readers.

Check out those super cool fat pedals.

29er wheels roll faster.


Specs:

The Smoke 2-9 is the elevated brethren of our ever popular Smoke.
This is the one bike that everyone should have hanging in their apartment or wedged in their garage.
This year we’ve taken the Smoke and added a taller wheel to make it go faster.
Push the pedals harder to also make it go faster.

Frame sizes 14″, 16″, 18″, 20″, 22″
Frame tubing Kona Cromoly Butted
Fork Kona P2 29er Disc
Headset TH
Crankarms Suntour CW-XCC-T208
Chainrings 48/38/28
B/B CH-46
Pedals Kona Jackshit
Chain KMC Z-72
Freewheel SHIMANO HG-30 (11-32, 8spd)
F/D Shimano Altus
R/D Shimano Altus
Shifters SRAM MRX
Handlebar Kona Riser
Stem Kona Control
Grips Kona Mooseknuckle
Front Brake Tektro 855AC
Brake Levers Tektro RS-384A
Front hub Formula
Rear hub Formula
Spokes Stainless 14g
Tires Continental City Contact 700 x 47c
Rims Rigida Cyber 10
Saddle Velo Comfort
Seatpost Kona Thumb
Seat clamp Kona Clamp
Color Smoke Grey

Priscilla absolutely LOVES the “New Bike Smell”…its a combination or Chinese Food, Rubber, Grease and Metal…mmm.

So stick around as we run the Kona Smoke 2-9 through the paces and report a full review.